Padres Sign Left-Handed Reliever, DFA C Josmil Pinto

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The Padres continued to make 2015-2016 the offseason of shedding and small deals, as they designated for assignment fourth catcher Josmil Pinto and signed left handed reliever Buddy Baumann to a major league contract, as reported by the San Diego UT.

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Baumann pitched primarily out of the bullpen for AAA Omaha in the Kansas City Royals system. On the season he went 3-4 with a 3.04 ERA. He also showed a penchant for striking hitters out – in 77 innings he struck out 84 and walked just 25. He also did make 6 starts on the year.

He gives the Padres some extra bullpen depth and particularly on the left-handed front. He joins fellow bullpen newcomer Drew Pomeranz as solid left-handed options and with Robbie Erlin who is expected to compete for a starting rotation spot.

The four catcher quandry comes to a quick end with Pinto being designated for assignment. With the recent addition of Christian Bethancourt from the Braves, it gave the Padres more than they could possibly need at the major league level and even now with Austin Hedges, Derrek Norris, and Bethancourt I wouldn’t rule out a potential trade of one of the three.

General Manager A.J. Preller has hinted that it may be Hedges who starts the season in AAA as they attempt to continue to develop his hitting with more seasoning. It seems the Padres have the same profile in Hedges and Bethancourt and just hedging (no pun intended) their bets on one of them breaking out to show they really belong in the major leagues.

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Top free agents like Alex Gordon and Yoenis Cespedes remain on the market, not to mention the Padres own free agents in Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy. Preller has shown nothing to indicate he intends to make any kind of big splash this offseason, seemingly content to whittle away filling needs slowly that the team has for the 2016 season and beyond. With the Baumann signing he now has two left-handed bullpen options and continuing to fill up the pen with quality young arms after dispensing of Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit to start the offseason.

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